My "interview" was conducted over the phone.

'A friend of Mrs. Stonehouse's has told me you need a Lab Assistant. I'll do it'

?Fine?

'Do you want me to bring any proof of my qualifications??

'No. the job is yours as long as Mr. Hayles agrees'.

I have never dared ask if Mr. Hayles knew he had the chance of saying 'No' at that point. We discussed cricket on our first meeting and we have been discussing cricket on and off for the last five years.

After agreeing to come to Lendrick I then had seven weeks of summer holiday to wonder about what I had let myself in for. I had no idea. The Lab in those pre-Fraser days was chaotic. In October I stuck a sign on Ron?s desk saying  "A cluttered desk is a sign of genius". Ron found it in February!

I was also quickly introduced to Ron Cowel's enthusiastic approach to experimental work when we all spent half the morning in his house waiting for the lab to be safe to re-enter. He had an uncanny trust in his pupils,  and left scalpels, magnesium, soldering-irons, alcohol lying where he finished using them. I felt I needed eyes at the back of my head to keep track of things.

Ron told me to arrange the Lab the way I wanted it. I failed.  How was I to know a broken bit of "something" was part of a space shuttle or nuclear power station or whatever he was building that week. Ron is lateral thinking personified.

The arrival of John Fraser led to dramatic changes, from chaos to order but mostly from Physics to Biology. The disappearance of broken instruments, bits of wood, sealing wax and string and the arrival of tadpoles, gerbils and flowers! But most of all I began to hear about things happening in the greater world of the main building.

I was told if the timetable had been changed. I was given an idea of what would be needed in the near future. I was even invited to functions.

Unfortunately, too many functions have been farewells recently and I marvel that I have not been one of them. Little did I think when I started that I would still want to be part of Lendrick five years on. The place and people have a magic hold. I sometimes wonder about the children I have been in contact with. Where are they now? How are they getting on? Has their stay at Lendrick helped them, lead full useful lives? I have gained so much from being in contact with them. I hope they have equally positive memories of Lendrick Muir School.

KATEY CARMICHAEL

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